Last night as CPod and I went to bed, I briefly stepped into the little boys' bathroom to tidy up. The toilet, of course, needed flushing, but other than that it really wasn't too bad. CPod cleans the toilets in our house. Thank goodness. Usually, five minutes after he finishes scrubbing, some little person takes it upon himself to turn it back into the truckstop toilet we all know it deserves to be. We spend a lot of time and effort remediating their aiming skills. And it seems to be working.
So I said to CPod, "Hey, your terlet in there is still pretty clean!" And then I started laughing because that was funny, right? (Intentionally mispronounced word, in case you were wondering.) CPod just glanced up from his Backpacker magazine and smirked at me through stylish wire-rimmed glasses. (Somehow, the smirk stings more when he just looks so good doing it, right?)
"You really crack yourself up, don't you?" he said. No laughing. Not funny.
Yes, apparently, I do. I spend waaaaay too much time laughing at my own jokes, fantasizing about being on Glee as I vocalize in the car, and wondering why they don't have more short, tree-trunk legged, curvy, busty supermodels. I suffer from a different kind of delusion: when I look in the mirror, what I see is much thinner than reality, with hair worthy of a Suave commercial, a sharp wit funny enough for Night at the Improv, and book ideas the big publishing houses would fight over could they just see into my brilliant mind.
And then I realized that I am just like those people on American Idol. You know the ones. Even the most tone deaf AI viewers can recognize a talent blackhole when they see it. Don't we all just shake our heads and wonder how on earth no one has told them that they can't sing?
I am always amazed at their confidence -- one girl's utter conviction that no matter how much Simon Cowell knows about the music business, he must be wrong about her. "Those judges don't know nothin'!" she screams at the camera as she angrily makes her way out of the venue. No, of course not. Their extensive experience and proven track record of choosing and grooming multi-platinum artists pale in comparison to your one semester of high school show choir and a lifetime of shower singing. How could belting it out in the opera house-like acoustics of your bathroom not prepare you to be the next American Idol? Honestly, I'm amazed you don't have a record deal already.
Is it a worse friend/sister/mother/significant other who fosters this delusion, or pops the bubble? I'm still not sure. But really. A little bit of, "Honey, why don't you try something else?" goes a long way.
When I was eight years old, I filled pages of my journal with a looooong list of my possible future careers. This list was, of course, based on some serious soul searching and a realistic inventory of my strengths and weaknesses. Well, not weaknesses, because, of course, I wasn't aware I had any at the ripe old age of 8. American Idol wasn't around then, but, rest assured, had such a phenomenon existed, there would have been an entry on my list of "What I Have to Offer the World" going something like this: "48. American Idol pop star, because I have a GREAT voice and I don't really get nervous in front of people, and because I have such an amazing sense of fashion and could totally set the trend for modesty." This from the girl who regularly wore red tights with turquoise shorts. Turquoise corduroy shorts. (There is photographic evidence. Wince.)
Part of me has to admire the . . . chutzpah of those American Idol contestants. It takes guts to believe in yourself way more than reality should permit. After all, if YOU don't believe in you, no one will. But, seriously. At some point, we all have to take the gauze off the camera lens and see things as they really are. Except not me. Because I AM the next American Idol . . . Mother Teresa . . . Albert Einstein . . . Jane Austen . . . Margaret Thatcher . . .